By Julian Mitton, MD, Addiction Therapy Must Be Integrated Into Primary Care


We need to make sure that everyone has access to quality addiction treatment services. The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis, and we need solutions that will help all people who are affected by substance use disorders. We also need better integration of addiction treatment into primary care so that doctors can screen for addiction as part of routine care and refer patients for services when needed.

Primary Care Doctors Should Screen For Addiction As Part Of Routine Care

It is not enough to inquire about substance use. Doctors should consider lifestyle and health factors because they can indicate a substance use disorder. Patients may recognize their addiction but reject treatment due to stigma, according to Julian Mitton, MD . Doctors can refer them to a SUD specialist in these instances.

Primary Care Doctors Should Be Able To Refer Patients For Addiction Treatment Services

Primary care physicians Julian Mitton, MD are uniquely placed to detect and treat substance use disorders. They see patients when they are at their most vulnerable, which is often when they are seeking treatment for other health issues such as high blood pressure or diabetes. These doctors are also trained to use medication to solve problems, making them especially well-suited to determining when someone needs help getting sober.

Health Insurance Companies Need To Cover The Cost Of Addiction Treatment

The cost of addiction treatment must be covered by health insurance companies so that everyone can access it, regardless of ability or income level. We also require local policies that facilitate the reintegration of people with substance use disorders who are homeless or incarcerated into society after their release from custody or prison, respectively, by providing them with housing and employment support.

We Need To Make Sure That Everyone Has Access To Quality Addiction Treatment Services

We need to make sure that everyone has access to quality addiction treatment services. Addiction is a chronic disease, and patients must receive ongoing support from their healthcare providers as they work toward recovery. That means primary care doctors should screen for addiction as part of routine care, and be able to refer patients for addiction treatment services when appropriate.